CHS art teachers display their own talents

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Domareki Gallery is usually home to Columbia High School student art, but since Jan. 14, the walls have been covered with the work of those who guide the young artists. “Straight Edge/Curved Line,” an exhibit of art by the school’s art teachers, will be at the gallery through Feb. 14, and gives CHS students a chance to see what their educators can do.

Featured in the show are: Alexandra Capucci, who teaches 2D and 3D art; Kate Dodd, who teaches art history; Jon Fisher, who teaches photography; Curtis Grayson, who teaches studio art; Cindy Malhotra, who teaches computer graphics and production journalism; Paul Marigliano, who teaches film and animation; Karen Murphy, who teaches visual art; and Nicole Thomas, who teaches ceramics.

“All of the teachers are usually teaching their work, but we’re also all exhibiting artists,” Thomas said in a phone interview with the News-Record on Jan. 18. “We work over weekends and in the summer, and my work was part of what I did this summer.”

Thomas made the only piece that doesn’t hang on a wall: “Tea for Two,” a 3D ceramic sculpture that features a teapot, teacups and dishes Thomas molded and painted in her home studio.

“It takes dozens of hours,” she said. “You have to throw it on the pottery wheel, and then trim it to the shape you want. Then you go back and attach the pieces and fire it in the kiln. That takes about 12 hours, and then you add details and fire it again.”

That’s the process that Thomas, a first year teacher at CHS, is teaching to her ceramics students. The faculty show allows the young artists to see what their teachers do when they aren’t in the classroom.

“A lot of them are getting a lesson but not seeing it,” Thomas said. “It’s a nice chance for kids to see what we do when we’re not here. When kids are little, a lot of them think teachers live at school and then when they get older they don’t really know what we do. So this has been letting them see that.”

In addition to giving students the chance to see their teachers’ work, the show gives teachers an opportunity to see on another’s art.

“This is the first time I’ve gotten to see their work,” Thomas said. “We don’t always get to see it. We talk about what we’re doing a lot and we have staff meetings, but we don’t get to use that time to talk about our own work because we’re talking about what we’re doing with the kids. So it’s been great to see it come together.”

The Domareki Gallery is located inside CHS and is open to the community.

Photos Courtesy of Artists